An increasing number of Americans have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a new report.
Scientists from the University of Colorado have found that the average blood levels of vitamin D appear to have decreased in the U.S. between 1994 and 2004.
They suggest that in addition to poor diet, a decline in outdoor physical activities and more successful campaigns to reduce sun exposure may have contributed to this phenomenon.
They also believe the currently recommended doses 200 international units per day from birth to age 50, 400 IUD from age 51 to 70 and 600 IUD for adults age 71 and older focus mainly on improving bone health.
“Current recommendations for dosage of vitamin D supplements are inadequate to address this growing epidemic,” the researchers write in the March 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine .
“Increased intake of vitamin D (1,000 IUD or more) particularly during the winter months and at higher latitudes would improve vitamin D status and likely improve the overall health of the U.S. population.”
Clinicians now believe that insufficient levels of vitamin D are not only associated with rickets and other bone problems in children, but they have also been linked to mature-age disorders such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Those who are concerned that they do not get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from their diet may consider turning to nutritional supplements.